By Pastor Neil Kenyon, Salem, IN.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
When I first entered the ministry, as a pastor, I had a talk with my dad who had been a preacher for many years of his life. I was wondering how I should answer the call to preach. He said, “As long as you stick to the Word of God you can’t go wrong.”
“Stick to the Word of God.” That struck a chord with me and has been a guide to me since that conversation with him in 1990.
I was saddened, therefore, when I recently read that it was suggested that the Sunday Sermon be relegated to a short devotional or addendum to the music or some sort of drama presentation. Or, that it be done away in favor of some form of entertainment! God’s word should never be excluded (or watered down) from worship! It must be essential, and central, to the worship. Genuine, reading, and commentary of God’s Word is what confronts the listeners with nothing less than the living and active Word! Such confrontation shapes and guides individuals as The Holy Spirit opens eyes and applies the Word of God to human hearts.
Thus, like the Apostle, Paul wrote to Timothy, and as my father warned me,
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:2,3,4)